10 must-see films to check out at 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival

Sep 19 2022, 6:46 pm

The 2022 Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is happening from September 29 to October 9, and there is so much to see and do during its 41st edition.

One of the largest film festivals in North America, VIFF 2022 will showcase 135 feature films and 102 shorts from 75 countries around the world.

All films are presented in cinema, though a small curated selection of titles will be available for streaming across the province through VIFF Connect.

The films and documentaries being presented during #VIFF2022 include provocative documentaries, elevated genre films, and more from across BC, Canada, and the globe. There are dozens of world premieres, insightful talkbacks, and more to discover.

To get you ready for this year’s festival and to help fill out your viewing schedule, here are 10 must-see films to check out at VIFF 2022.

Black Ice

Black Ice VIFF

Black Ice (VIFF/Submitted)

Black Ice is an insightful documentary that spotlights the systematic racism in Canadian hockey culture. Directed by Oscar-nominated African-Canadian filmmaker Hubert Davis, the film explores the significance of the Coloured Hockey League during times of segregation in Canada. Black Ice also shares personal stories of Black hockey players dealing with racism from fans, coaches, and other hockey players.

Executive produced by Drake, LeBron James, and Maverick Carter, Black Ice gives a new generation of Black coaches and players a chance to remind viewers of a more humane way that hockey can be played.

Call Jane

VIFF Call Jane

Call Jane (VIFF/Submitted)

A privileged housewife in 1968 Chicago, portrayed by Elizabeth Banks, finds herself at odds with the patriarchal medical establishment when she needs an abortion to save her life. Call Jane by director Phyllis Nagy balances light and dark in the telling of the stories of desperate women who require abortions and the women who risk their lives for them.

Call Jane is a timely and relevant film about reproductive justice in the year that Roe v. Wade was overturned in the United States, and the film promises to be accessible, passionate, and hugely entertaining.

Decision to Leave

VIFF Decision To Leave

Decision To Leave (VIFF/Submitted)

A South Korean neo-noir mystery about a homicide detective who falls in love with the widow of an apparent suicide. Acclaimed Korean filmmaker Park Chan-wook (Oldboy, The Handmaiden) picked up the Director Prize at Cannes for this highly anticipated genre film starring Tang Wei and Park Hae-il. Decision to Leave unique love story with powerful performances.

Framing Agnes

VIFF Framing Agnes

Framing Agnes (VIFF/Submitted)

Canadian documentary filmmaker Chase Joynt and his collaborators uncover transcripts from a 1950s study on transgender individuals and use them to showcase re-enactments, reinvention, and personal reflections. Framing Agnes examines the trans stories that are told and how—and by whom—they are authored.

Joynt (No Ordinary Man) recreates interrogations of several individuals who transitioned while making space for his performers to also share their experiences. Framing Agnes won the Audience Award and the NEXT Innovator Award at Sundance this year.

The Grizzlie Truth (World Premiere)

VIFF 2022

The Grizzlie Truth (VIFF/Submitted)

From the local filmmakers that brought us Finding Big Country in 2018, comes a new 97-minute documentary called The Grizzlie Truth, which promises to find “who’s responsible for robbing us of the Vancouver Grizzlies.” Kathleen S. Jayme reconnects with the ill-fated team’s heroes and villains, including former stars like Shareef Abdur-Rahim and Mike Bibby as well as the team’s architect, Stu Jackson, and creates a fascinating look at the enduring fervor of sports fans.

Harvest Moon (World Premiere)

VIFF Harvest Moon

Harvest Moon (VIFF/Submitted)

Harvest Moon is a thoughtful Mongolian drama about a man returning to his native village to tie up loose family ends. There, he strikes up an unlikely friendship with a 10-year-old orphan boy determined to claim his place in the vast grasslands of the country.

Director and co-star Amarsaikhan Baljinnyam shines in the heartfelt feature debut that discerningly captures a culture in transition.

Leonor Will Never Die

Leonor Will Never Die

Leonor Will Never Die (VIFF/Submitted)

Once a leading action filmmaker, Leonor now spends her senior years in a cramped apartment daydreaming about her movies. A freak accident causes her to fall into a coma and magically into the production of one of her own long-forgotten, unfinished screenplays.

Leonor Will Never Die by writer-director Martika Ramirez Escobar is colourful, exuberant, and packed with thrills and B-movie nostalgia. Escobar’s debut film was the 2022 winner of the Special Jury Prize for Innovative Spirit at Sundance.



Nanny (VIFF/Submitted)

Aisha, a Senegalese immigrant portrayed by Anna Diop, is hired by a self-absorbed Manhattan couple to be a nanny. She is ready to deflect micro-aggressions, objectification, and clumsy attempts at being woke. What Anna is less prepared for are the predatory mermaids and trickster spirits that manifest in both her dreams and the waking world.

Nikyatu Jusu’s psychological drama is absolutely haunting, but Nanny’s depictions of immigration’s dark realities are even more chilling.

Riceboy Sleeps

VIFF Riceboy Sleeps

Riceboy Sleeps (VIFF/Submitted)

Riceboy Sleeps by Vancouver actor and filmmaker Anthony Shim tells the story of South Korean immigrant So-young (Choi Seung- yoon) and her son Dong-hyun (Ethan Hwang). She desperately wants to instill a sense of pride in her son as she raises him in Vancouver’s suburbs, but he just wants to fit in.

Shim (VIFF 2019 BC Spotlight film Daughter) masterfully ties autobiographical and universal themes in the emotional coming-of-age film. Riceboy Sleeps won the Platform Prize at 2022 TIFF.

Until Branches Bend

Until Branches Bend

Until Branches Bend (VIFF/Submitted)

Fruit packer Robin (Grace Glowicki) discovers a potentially invasive insect inside a peach and immediately reports it. However, when management refuses to take action, Robin goes public with her concerns which leads to a widescale shutdown in her Okanagan town.

Until Branches Bend is a psychological drama by director Sophie Jarvis that explores the ills of this seemingly idyllic community. The film grows apocalyptic in scale while preserving the human story at its centre.

Vancouver International Film Festival 2022

When: September 29 to October 9, 2022
Time: Various times
Where: Various locations
Tickets: Single tickets $10-$15, with festival passes also available. Special presentations are $17, VIFF Live tickets are $18, and VIFF Talks and Industry Panel tickets range from $18-$25. Purchase online

Daily Hive is a proud media sponsor of the Vancouver International Film Festival

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